Successful Workshop in Vigo 4 October

14 October 2011

Icelandic fish: source of quality and freshness

Iceland Responsible Fisheries and the recently established ICE Salt Fish Association invited to a workshop during the Conxemar Exhibition on 4 October, to discuss promotion of Icelandic fish, salt fish in particular, and Iceland Responsible Fisheries marketing programme. The attendees were mainly Spanish buyers, producers from Iceland and representatives from marketing and sales companies. It was a successful meeting with good discussions. A new brochure on Icelandic Salt Fish was distributed on the meeting.

The Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture addressed the meeting. He did welcome the opportunity to accompany and give support to Icelandic seafood companies in their marketing effort in Spain that is the second largest market for Icelandic cod and the single most important market for Icelandic salt fish.

Gudný Káradóttir, Marketing manager of Iceland Responsible Fisheries (IRF) presented the IRF marketing programme. The Iceland Responsible Fisheries logo indicates origin of fish catches in Icelandic waters and responsible fisheries management. Fishing vessel operators, processors, marketing companies and buyers of Icelandic marine products can use the logo to identify the origin of their products and to maintain market confidence in Icelandic seafood. She showed examples of different strategy that supermarkets follow in promoting the origin of Icelandic seafood in UK, and showed a video from Waitrose supermarket that showed very well how the image of the country supports the sales – in this case fresh cod, certified as sustainably sourced.

The last speaker, Sigurjón Arason, Associate Professor, University of Iceland and Chief Engineer at Icelandic Food and Biotech R&D (MATÍS) spoke about salt fish production in Iceland and innovation to meet market demands. He explained the processing and how Icelandic producers preserve the quality of the fish throughout the whole processing to meet customer expectation in the major salt fish markets. He said the most important factor the differentiates production of Icelandic salt fish from other production is that the Icelandic companies only use fresh fish in their production and the handling throughout the process is controlled to give the best quality for the consumers in different markets.

After the presentations, representatives from the main players in sales of Icelandic salt fish in Spain joined the speakers in panel discussions: Magnús B. Jónsson, Managing Director, Iceland Seafood, Juan I. Monfort, Copesco & Sefrisa and Agnar Thor Brynjólfsson, Seafood Union. Hjörleifur Ásgeirsson, General Manager of Icelandic Iberica chaired the discussions. General promotion of Icelandic salt fish was discussed and how the companies in Spain could increase sales, and benefits from joining the Iceland Responsible programme were addressed. The conclusion of discussions were that this workshop is an important step in uniting the main players in the market and to discuss methods in further promotion.

The Minister also visited the exhibition to learn more about the marketing of Icelandic products in Spain and neighbouring countries.

For further information, please contact Gudny Karadottir, Marketing manager of Iceland Responsible Fisheries,